By highlighting the decade of successes already achieved during the negotiation and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements to end illegal logging, civil society from timber producing countries explain where EU policy should go next.
Transitions from war are tough. When grievances smolder and economies fail to recover, most countries fall into a “conflict trap” and war resumes. To escape the trap, post-conflict governments often exploit forests, minerals, and other natural resources to jump-start war-torn economies.
Representatives from eight member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) shared their achievements in developing reliable timber legality assurance systems at a workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia from 6-8 December 2016.
As of today, November 15, Indonesia becomes the first country to issue licences under the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. These will exempt timber and wood products from further due diligence under the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and European operator importers are expecting to receive their first licensed cargoes before the end of the year.
Indonesia and the EU launch are hailing “a major milestone” in the global fight to end illegal logging, with the launch today of Indonesia’s FLEGT licensing scheme for exports to the EU of verified legal timber products.
Earlier this month, ITTO reported that Indonesia is due to issue the first FLEGT licences in November and observed that the Indonesian government and industry are looking to these licences to deliver significant market advantages (ITTO TTM Report 1–15 September 2016).